WBGO Journal

Saturday 6:30am - 7am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Community FoodBank of New Jersey
Community FoodBank of New Jersey

This coming Wednesday September 25, WBGO partners with United Way of Greater Newark and Community FoodBank of New Jersey to put a dent into food insecurity in our area.

For every $60 pledge of support to WBGO, the partners are able to purchase nutritious food for a family backpack.

WBGO News Director Doug Doyle spoke recently with Carlos M. Rodriguez, President and CEO of Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Catherine Wilson, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Newark.

Click above to hear the entire interview about what you can do to help this Wednesday.

Newark Today presents The State of Newark Public Schools. Host Michael Hill will be joined by Mayor Ras Baraka, Schools Superintendent Roger Leon, President of the Board of Education Josephine Garcia, and Bruno Coelho, 2019 – 2020  Student Representative

The town hall style forum will be broadcast LIVE from Science Park High School Thursday September 19th at 8pm. 


BETRAYAL is the story of an illicit affair that unfolds in reverse—from the end of a marriage to the first forbidden spark. Starring Golden Globe and Olivier Award winner Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers), Zawe Ashton (Velvet Buzzsaw) and Charlie Cox (Daredevil), this stunning production features the daring vision of one of the UK’s most acclaimed directors.

#GirlsMatterWalk Coming to Newark

Sep 14, 2019

  Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. has been transforming the lives of young women in the City of Newark for the past 10 years. GirlsLLL works with young women ages 6-16. The #GirlsMatterWalk is a celebration and opportunity to show young women how much they are loved and supported by their community. The walk begins 9:00 a.m., Sunday, September 15, 2019, at Lincoln Park, Newark, New Jersey, 07102.

To hear the interview, click the link above.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has put together a 10-member task force charged with making recommendations on how the state can deal with what officials have called the “epidemic” of electronic cigarette use.

The announcement came as the U.S. continues to grapple with a mysterious respiratory illness related to vaping that has sickened at least three people in New Jersey with another 19 cases under investigation by state health officials.

UNCF and Kat Team Foundation
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 2nd annual UNCF New Jersey 5K Walk/Run for Education in partnership with Kat Team Foundation is set for Saturday, September 21 at Brookdale Park on Watchung Avenue in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

The morning event, which has registration at 8am and begins at 9am, looks to bring together individuals, family members, friends and co-workers to participate and help raise much needed funds to help address college-bound students’ financial obstacles so that they are able to get to and through college.

Plenty to see in this 44th rolling out of films in Toronto, the unlikely glitz capital of the world for these past 10 days. The major film companies, plus the itty-bitty guys and the death star streaming services like Netflix and Amazon all trotted out their sexiest fall entries in the various Oscar categories. Both the film industry and Toronto, or TIFF as it’s called-- short for Toronto International Film Festival—are accommodating themselves to smaller platforms. That means Toronto has reduced its film slate to a mere 245 features shot in 87 languages from 83 countries.

On the latest edition of the show, Gov. Murphy speaks with WNYC’s Nancy Solomon about the tap water situation in Newark. The Governor emphasizes that it’s not just a local problem but a national crisis, with so many towns and cities using old lead pipes.

The Governor also addresses storm preparedness for Dorian, his endoresement of US Senator Cory Booker of NJ for president, and the American Dream Meadowlands shopping center.

Hollis King

Pianist Monty Alexander says that the music he heard growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, had tastes and smells strong enough to inspire him today.

Adam B. Smith / A.B.S. Productions

Ang Santos: Joining us on the WBGO Journal, we have Adam B. Smith of ABS Productions.  His short film The Path is screening on Saturday September 7thduring a block at the CityPlex 12 Theater as part of the 2019 Newark International Film Festival.  Thanks for being here.

Adam B. Smith: Thank you so much for having me.

AS: Is this your first time having a film accepted to a film festival?

Molly Fichter for WBGO News

New Jersey residents in municipalities beyond Newark are raising concerns over elevated levels of lead in their drinking water. WBGO's Molly Fichter reports from neighboring Elizabeth, where some get their water from the same treatment plant that put Newark in a crisis.

Click above to hear Molly's full report.


SeaWall / A Life are two one-act plays on Broadway at the Hudson Theatre.  One stars  Tom Sturridge, while the other has Jake Gyllenhaal as its lone actor.


Theater critic Michael Bourne says they're more like two plays in one.


Click above to hear Michael's review.



Screenings of the new Miles Davis documentary Birth of The Cool begin today in NYC.

As my friend and Indiewire columnist Tom Brueggemann noted this week: This summer Disney had five films cross the $1 billion mark worldwide -- with fewer tickets sold domestically than any year since 1992--when the population was 90 million fewer.

A Memoir by Newark's Sharon Elise

Aug 23, 2019
Sharon Elise
Sharon Elise for WBGO News

She’s a yoga instructor, a doula, mother, Newark Native and now Sharon Elise is an author. WBGO’s Charisma Lyles caught up with Elise recently to talk about her memoir I Don't Know How I Got Here But Here I Am: A Journey through Chaos to Find Peace.

Click above to hear the entire interview.


Michael Bourne reviews Bat Out of Hell and Moulin Rouge.  To hear the review click the link above.  

Ang Santos / WBGO

In 2012, the Vietnam Veterans of America Jersey Shore Area Chapter 12 created a Cremains Project committee, a group that set out to return deceased fellow veterans to their loved ones.  New Jersey based producer and filmmaker Tom Phillips caught wind of the Veterans Cremains Project.

“My dad served, he died young and never told me a thing.  There was no closure for me,” he said.


Many middle and high school students in Newark have become sole proprietors of unique businessess, thanks to the Newark Regional Business Partnership's Young Entrepreneur's Academy.  WBGO's Charisma Lyles reports on one of the latest success stories where a YEA! student landed a job as a professional photographer.

Click above to hear Charisma's feature.

Michael Bourne
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO's Michael Bourne has experienced thousands of musical events throughout his amazing career as an announcer for the greatest jazz station in the world.

But before he came to WBGO, he was a young reporter who got a chance to cover Woodstock 50 years ago.

His journey was unforgettable.

Click above to hear Michael retell his trip to Woodstock.

Ask Governor Murphy

On the most recent edition of Ask Governor Murphy on WBGO, Goveror Murphy spoke with host Nancy Solomon about what's being done about the high levels of lead in Newark's drinking water.  Governor Murphy made it clear that it's not just a local problem, but a national crisis with so many towns and cities using old lead pipes.

Click above to hear Governor Murphy from the August 14 edition of Ask Governor Murphy.

Mildred Antenor
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor is very concerned after seeing in a New York Times article that rapes in New York City are up 19 percent the first quarter of this year.  She's also not pleased with the results of a recent poll asking women how they protect themselves.

Mildren Antenor is a professor at Seton Hall University and the author of the new memoir The Gladioli Are Invisible: A Memoir.

The Rolling Stone

The Rolling Stone, running off-Broadway at Lincoln Center, is a new play about a tragedy of hatred.

Set in Uganda, The Rolling Stone is an intimate yet explosive family drama about two brothers at odds — one a gay man in a clandestine relationship, and the other a church pastor who fervently rails against the life his brother is forced to conceal.

Theater critic Michael Bourne says one of the greatest tragedies is how often people kill each other with what they think are the right causes.

Click above to hear Michael's review.

The PAYS Energy Efficiency Upgrade Program

Aug 12, 2019

An innovative system to finance energy efficiency upgrades for renters and low-income people has been gaining traction around the country. The system, basically run by two men working out of their home offices in Vermont, is running in eight states.

Keith Bratcher / Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Essex County is home for Antoine Saint-Victor, born in Newark and raised in East Orange.

“I went to Seton Hall Prep. From there I graduated and went to Cornell University in upstate New York. I worked in health tech for about three years in Boston, and now I’m here,” he said.

Saint-Victor is the first member of his family to graduate from college but working in medicine runs in his family.


When Harlem School of the Arts founder Dorothy Maynor was raising money to build the facility, New York City was a much different place. 

“They really wanted to create this safe haven with this oasis on the inside,” said Eric Pryor, president of Harlem School of the Arts.  

The funding from the Herb Alpert Foundation will fix some issues, such as air conditioning, but it’s the 18,000 square foot glass curtain wall set to be installed in the front of the building that will transform HSA.

Toni Stone
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater Critic Michael Bourne is always busy rooting for his hometown St Louis Cardinals, but baseball is also in his spotlight off-Broadway in a new play about a woman playing pro ball in the 1950’s.

Toni Stone is Lydia R. Diamond's play about first woman to play professional baseball.  Stone played in the  early 50’s in the Negro Leagues.

Toni Stone runs at the Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre August 11.

Iving Burgie
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

Day-O is one of the most widely heard songs of modern times. It recently debuted on the Broadway stage in a musical based on the movie Beetlejuice. For years it’s been played at sports stadiums and was even used as a wake-up call for astronauts.

Day-O was written by Brooklyn-born Irving Burgie, who turned 95 last Sunday.

WBGO’s Jon Kalish reports on Burgie's struggle for recognition of his accomplishments.

Angel Plazaa
Angel Plaza

You may have heard about NJIT Engineering student Angel Plaza. His viral LinkedIn post sparked attention after NJ Advance Media covered him standing at MLK Boulevard, handing out his professional resume to motorists...with hopes of landing a job.

WBGO’s Charisma Lyles sat down recently with Plaza who got his inspiration from a well-known rapper, the late Nipsey Hussle.

"Harriet" Tubman's Ties to New Jersey

Aug 1, 2019
Harriet Tubman
Focus Features

Get ready for the November debut of the Focus Features film, Harriet, based on the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

The movie stars Cynthia Erivo (Broadway's The Color Purple) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (Broadway's Hamilton)

In preparation of the movie release, WBGO’s Marcellis Counts spoke with two local historians who have spent time concentrating on slavery in New Jersey and its ties to the Underground Railroad.

Rhonda Hamilton

Walter Wade worked for WBGO for more than 20 years, several of them as host of the popular Filet of Soul program.

Wade remembers listening to his eventual radio colleague Rhonda Hamilton early in her career when she hosted an evening program on Jazz 88 called Ancestral Streams.